Recipe: Sicilian Holiday Meatballs

These happy little appetizer bites taste like Sicilian Christmas.

Using your hands, mix together 1 pound ground pork, ¼ cup currants, ¼ cup toasted pine nuts, 1 beaten egg, 2 tablespoons orange zest, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper and ½ teaspoon ground cloves. Shape the mixture into 22 to 24 meatballs – about 1½ tablespoons each.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm 2 tablespoons olive oil. Place about 8 meatballs in the skillet, leaving space between them, and cook 2 minutes. Flip the meatballs, cover the skillet and cook another 3 minutes. Repeat with remaining meatballs. Serve warm.

To make a simple dipping sauce, combine 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce (we like Contadina Extra Thick & Zesty), ¼ cup dry red wine, ½ teaspoon ground fennel, ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves, and salt and pepper to taste in a small saucepot. Place over medium heat until warm, then serve.

Dee Ryan is a longtime contributor to Sauce Magazine.